Petition to bring back the buffet on GWR

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by irish_rail, 19 Apr 2019.

  1. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    Indeed, but the point is that if you buy a hot drink before boarding, you may not wish to consume it at that moment. With a trolley, one can order it during the long journey. Also, a trolley can always be hunted down, rather than awaiting its arrival.
     
  2. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    It appears you are in Cornwall, so the spelling surprised me. Cambourne is in Cambridgeshire.
     
  3. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    There’s a comment on the petition website which states that staff refuse to serve customers who hunt the trolley down rather than waiting for it to reach their seats.

    If so, that seems a bit off.
     
  4. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    Quite possibly.

    Although I sense a lot from the use of word elitest
     
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    That seems ridiculous
     
  6. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    You know precisely what I mean. It`s not about getting rid of them. It`s about usage of space. You can`t argue about the seating loss of just 16 seats for a mini buffet compared to half a carriage of unused kitchen space. They stand or fall together.

    Yes, and have you tried navigating on foot from either of them to the station. It`s like walking across Silverstone on racing days with a cup of coffee in ones hand.

    I agree and also do the same sometimes but we are talking about choice here.
     
  7. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    Let us all eat cake instead then by that logic. It`s OK to have kitchens that do nothing but woe betide ever losing just 16 seats in scum class just to make a point about seating space. Is there some kind of inquisition on anyone who criticizes the perceived wisdom of either GWR or the DaFT?
     
  8. Airline Man

    Airline Man Member

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    Okay, I'm a complete novice when it comes to railways but do GWR still do Pullman dining?
     
  9. irish_rail

    irish_rail Established Member

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    Correct something to do with not being safe to carry the hot drinks back to seats without a carrier bag to carry them in as was the case with buffets.
     
  10. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Woe betide those people getting on trains with freshly bought, bag-less Costa/Starbucks...
     
  11. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    For the love of god. :rolleyes:

    How does that work when the trolley is serving from a static location due to baggage blocking the aisles? Are hot drinks not served?
     
  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    Is it? That isn't how it's coming across from some posters .

    Using words like Elitest does not suggest that
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If they don't have bags it's to stop hot drinks getting spilt - but GWR do.
     
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    People know how to cross roads, the crossing from Costcutter is a proper traffic light protected crossing.

    Unless there is some issue with cars jumping red lights in Penzance?
     
  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    Surely holding a coffee cup upright is safer than it swinger around in a bag?
     
  16. irish_rail

    irish_rail Established Member

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    Or how about we treat customers as customers with a bit of respect and look after them in a way that the high ticket price being paid deserves? We should be striving for excellence on a route like this , not expecting people to make do with a costcutter that requires crossing two roads and being exposed to west Cornwalls often inclement weather ......

    Some on here don't seem to understand the railway cannot be involved in a race to the bottom or it will be in danger of alienating its passengers and potentially in the long run not surviving...
     
  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    Still better than serving them tasteless brown liquid being called coffee and microwaved food
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The bag contains spillage if you drop it.
     
  19. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    Fair enough.
     
  20. HantsExile

    HantsExile Member

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    That was my experience on a Truro to Reading service - static trolley due to baggage blocking aisles, no hot drinks served due to "health and safety".

    As regards buying refreshments prior to boarding - Truro station has no facilities on the London-bound platform and no lifts. With 20 minutes to wait for my train, some sixth sense made me drag my suitcase up and down the stairs to access the catering facilities on the down platform, at least my efforts meant I was independent of the very limited on-train offer.

    And I agree with a previous poster who said that, on this kind of long journey, if catering facilities are advertised they should be provided - obviously there will be the odd blip (crew unavailability, electrical problems etc.) but it seems as if these blips are becoming the norm ...
     
  21. PaulHarding150

    PaulHarding150 Member

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    It’s also bollocks - having done it myself.

    I can understand a member of staff, needing to serve the people in their immediate vicinity first, which might put someone who’s walked 3-4 carriages out. But I’ve hunted a trolley for a coffee and was given it quite rightly and sensibly in a bag (as others bellow have mentioned exist).
     
  22. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    That seems a more realistic position.
     
  23. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I've lived in the centre of Penzance for over thirty years. Any journey by train to London takes many hours because reaching Exeter takes so long. Therefore a high proportion of Penzance to Paddington passengers during the week take trains that leave before the vast majority of shops, cafes, etc have opened. There was always a buffet on the station that did open early to the extent of a window through which hot and cold drinks and food were dispensed, plus sale of newspapers etc. This was only closed because it was forced out by whoever runs the station, can't remember whether that's GWR or NR, it matters not for the purposes of my argument. This was four or five years ago from memory: a friend of mine who was the main staff member had to go and work for the wretched Poundland. Yes, there is a catering van outside the station now (don't know its opening hours) but it certainly wasn't there for a long while after the buffet closed.

    My experience of taking an early (7 a.m.ish) train from PZ was that, even with a buffet supposedly on board, it wasn't opened until after Plymouth i.e. the catering crew joined there, so it was upwards of two hours from leaving that you could actually get a hot drink: therefore the knowledgeable wanting a hot drink bought it at the buffet bar on the station before entraining. I would usually go to the buffet once or twice when making a journey in this direction, quite often purchasing hot food after three or four hours, say. On the way back, out of boredom as much as anything I'd probably go to the buffet at least twice. I really can't be bothered to stock up on drink before I get on a train, except a bottle of water: food is another matter, but I wouldn't bring hot food on board, an anti-social practice apart from any other consideration.

    I gave up taking the train to London after a few years, for two main reasons:
    1) The train fare, given I couldn't book more than a few days in advance, was as much if not more than the price of petrol for my car, even if I was travelling alone: if travelling with A.N. Other, it made no economic sense.
    2) I was probably unfortunate, but my return journeys from London were dogged by delays and cancellations, often for bizarre reasons.

    So my car took the strain, meaning I could travel when I liked and stop off if I wanted, or divert. There were some bad journeys, mainly at the London end, but on the whole I thought I was getting a better deal by car.

    Now I'm in the position where my health and the increased unreliability of my car, which I can't afford to replace, make that means of travel near impossible. Train travel beckons again, and I've responded, once so far, my journeys being by HST. I don't look forward to the new trains for such a journey, having been on one for the minor Penzance to Truro section and finding the seat uncomfortable, despite not being surrounded by other passengers. If I'm to be denied refreshment for several hours too, and the opportunity to stretch my legs which is necessary for me, then I would seriously think very hard before deciding to make the journey.
     
  24. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Probably the wrong word, but it is extremely limited in its availability.

    There’s just 10 trains a day - so only 10 of 93 kitchens are being fully utilised. That space - half a vehicle - would be better used either for more seating space (as per your argument about buffets) or providing a higher standard buffet that would benefit far more people than use the full dining facilities.
     
  25. Geoff DC

    Geoff DC Member

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    We must have been almost neighbours for 30 years or more & similar experiences, although in recent years the buffet did open from Penzance with a crew change in Plymouth - I've endured the new trains to from London a few times and would suggest the only way to make it acceptable is a 1st Class advance with a Rail Card discount

    Food wise, prepare the day before & forget any thought of a palatable hot drink for ar least 5 and a half hours
    Coming back it's much worse unless you are lucky enough to have time to go shopping
     
  26. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    With this stock the opportunity is there to make a completely different food to seat offer in Standard from the one that is currently being offered, or not as the case may be, making full use of that well equipped Kitchen car (which they seem afraid to do) and introducing on-train ordering by app, supplemented by a moving trolley as required.

    It really gets me that GWR are still stuck in basic trolley mode and haven’t moved with the times. It would seem they are just trying to replicate the HST style service, minus the static buffet car. That is unbelievably poor.
     
  27. JN114

    JN114 Established Member

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    This hits the nail squarely on the head.

    Granted it actually needs to happen; but it’s much more indicative of the direction that I feel on-train catering should be going. The number of additional staff required to run it would probably be significant; but I fail to see a problem with having more staff on every train? I’ve never heard that being a complaint.

    If you step backwards by bringing back the buffet you can never step forward and exploit the capabilities that already exist; untapped now. You would never be able to justify a full kitchen AND buffet servery onboard every 5 car. But a full kitchen being used on every 5 car; at-seat ordering delivered by the train crew being the primary means of onboard catering; trolley relegated to drumming up passing trade at quiet times - that would be a transformation in quality above any current operator. The real-time collection of data on the how/when/what/where of orders would enable better targeting of staffing as the scheme matured; and cash handling would pretty much disappear if almost all orders were made and paid for through the app - reducing associated costs of cash handling. You could even link it into smart ticketing; and holding a First class smart ticket would “Unlock” complimentary items in the app.
     
  28. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Seems perfectly reasonable if that's what their training told them and if there's a chance of pointing the blame to the caterer or the TOC for either serving them (even though they asked), not providing or not having a bag, or not having an aisle free from luggage or passengers while hot drinks were being served.

    In the context of the famous legal action against the fast food chain who served someone take away hot coffee without a warning that it might be hot which came with a risk of burning.
     
  29. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    To be clear I mean no criticism of the front line staff: if that’s what they’ve been told to do then they are only doing their jobs.

    I just find it depressing that compos mentis adults can apparently no longer be trusted to carry hot drinks back to their seats. This country is getting more like America every day.

    How on earth does a plastic bag help matters? Surely a lid on the drink in question should prevent any serious risk of spillage?!
     
  30. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Bearing in mind it could be anyone being served such as kids or the elderly, and walking through a busy train can mean stepping over bags, feet or people walking towards you whilst looking in another direction, whilst rushing, and aisles can be narrow.

    If nobody were minded to complain or file claims for stuff like spilled hot drinks that'd be one thing. But where that exists it's totally understandable why they'd be against such a thing. Doing things that were slightly dicey but for the right reasons only works if everyone agrees that there'd be no grounds for complaint because the person was trying to help, and that the blame for a hot spillage lies with the individual and not the server or company.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2019

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